The state of greenery

camberwell-sunroom  I am not one for a whole lot of living things to take care of inside my home, other than dogs that is. When I was a visual merchandiser, I had to take care of the plant live of an entire department store! I may have residual guilt for killing a lot of plants.   I spent my childhood in Hawaii, everything lived and grew without much effort at all, it was soft green all the time. Lush. I think this is why I like the use of green life in this London home, it looks effortless and fresh. You can read the full story over at the  Savvy Home Blog.

camberwell-stairs-650x990

camberwell-living-room-650x974

Continue Reading

Women and aging: the long and short of it.

monicalee_shorthair_72

I pretty much concluded about a year ago that as much as I like a chic short cut, I had gotten to the age when my face did match the “chic” part of the story. Actually it hit me at the gym. I looked around and saw that all the older women had short hair and all the younger women had long hair. I mean, I get it, these wonderful older women where keeping up with their fitness, did they really want to mess with their hair too?  Not to mention that fact that I live in New England, not exactly a haven for gorgeous hairstyles. We are just lucky to stay warm enough to leave the house, let alone fuss with a decent blow dry.

I am fascinated with the hair of  Sarah Harris, British Vogue editor. She rocks long hair and it is grey to boot! Not since Emily Lou Harris have I seen such gorgeousness in grey. Must be a Harris thing.

fd32b8cf225552d0d12a0db29176f324

Sarah-Harris-British-Vogue-by-STYLEDUMONDE-Street-Style-Fashion-Blog_MG_49331

I also have the very “bad habit” of washing mine way too often. At least every other day and that is even hard for me to do. I grew up in a time where dirty hair was just plain dirty. I think Jessica Simpson and her bestie Ken Paves got everyone on the  “dirty hair  is healthy hair” bandwagon. I don’t think I have the height or face for hair as long at Sarah’s but I am smitten and will grow min a bit longer. In the meantime, I will just draw short chic hair.

chiccut_monicalee_72

Continue Reading

Developing a signature look via Karl Lagerfeld

Ran across these photos of Karl Lagerfeld via the Vogue Uk site. Interesting to see him slowly developing his signature look over the years and the experiments in between. If you don’t experiment, you don’t land on what is it you want to say with your personal style. No one comes out of the womb with their look or personal style, even Karl.

KLagerfeld3_V_12jan11_rex_b

KLagerfeld4_V_12jan11_rex_b

KLagerfeld6_V_12jan11_rex_b

KLagerfeld13_V_12jan11_rex_b

KLagerfeld33_V_12jan11_rex_b

Karl-Lagerfeld-Moma-Nov13-24Sept14-Rex_b

If you are a hard core fashionista you can check out this fun fashion book, Where’s Karl

1439565267-hbz-new-karl

Continue Reading

Altitude Summit Girls

altsummit_monicalee

I ran across these images that I had not shared yet (from January!) My bunch of my “girls” were featured on the Altitude Summit gift bags (500 of them for the Winter Conference. Fun!

altgirls_mix2

altgirls_monicalee

altgirls_mix_72

Have a gorgeous day!

Continue Reading

Texas Wildflowers

ginghamgirl-monicalee

 

Last week headed to see my parents in Fredericksburg, Texas. Fredericksburg has a special place in my heart, ever since my grandparents and then my parents moved there and since I got married there. My father kept texting me pics of bluebonnets to get me to come in the height of wild flower season. So I hopped on a plane just at the right time, since it had snowed a couple inches in March in New England. (yuk!)  The Hill Country has such a  distinct personality and it is fun to pop into the shops in Fredericksburg to see what is new.

15_Butterflies

antlerlight

You have to love an antler chandelier and some Texas Sangria!

texassangria

{"
{“

I even got to spend a little time on the River Walk in San Antonio.

monicalee_watercolor

I have taken to packing paints again, something I had stopped doing years ago because I never ended up using them when I traveled. This time I actually did!

Continue Reading

Realism, Impressionism and Post Impressionism

thehistoryofart_monicalee
My son recently came to me about a history project that he was working on. He needed to do a presentation to the students in his class explaining Realism, Impressionism and Post Impressionism. Yay! He came to the right person! At last, I could contribute something beyond the dull glaze that I have been sporting when he discusses calculus. I had recently taken him and his friend to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Impressionists painting ended up being both boys favorites. One down, two to go.

I raced upstairs to my studio and dug out my worn out text book, The History of Art. “Read these two chapters and you will have a better understanding.” Then I started reading to chapters, hmmm. Did I have a better understanding? He had done enough research to have accumulated artists names associated with each movement but the why’s and meaning behind  why the artists needed to express themselves through art and the how  was lost on him. I scanned the material, looking for sound bytes that would make sense. It was trickier than I imagined.

As I talked, he kept telling me to break it down into simple words that high school students could understand. Have we really come to this when we discuss art, I thought,  bullet points, sound bytes?
Gustave_Courbet_018-1

Realism
Artist of note: Gustave Courbet
Sound byte: An artist must rely on his own direct experience. “I cannot paint an angel, because I have never seen one,” claimed Courbet. He painted life sized paintings, often having people pose in his studio without the sentiment  of previous artists. He painted workers of the era with dignity and without asking for sympathy.

When I went on the try to explain the “visual manifesto” of Manet’s “The Luncheon on the Grass” where the artist asserted himself to paint what ever he wanted to on aesthetic alone, it was my son’s eyes that gained a dull glaze.
the-luncheon-on-the-grass

As I read further about this being the beginning of a new way of thinking of Art for Art’s Sake and whether or not Manet actually believed this himself.  The artists began to play with light and dark, patches of color and brush strokes just for the sake of the canvas and started to believe that their first loyalty was to their canvas, not to the outside world. Where that artist’s painting for the sake of the canvas?  Do artists egos let them actually do that?

Trying to explain this to a young man that sees artists of today play and experiment was a difficult thing to do. The story has to be told within the constraints of what society expected to see from artists in that time period. I explained to him that art and story are told in many different ways today not merely on canvas but through film, photography. I even explained that some recent fashion shows I had seen when telling a complete “vision” of the artist. 

He was engaged and he got it (bullet points aside, I considered this a big success!) He asked a follow up question, “When was the last great art movement?” Oh! He got it more than I realized and it has left me asking the same thing. Certainly Contemporary Artists have made an impact, but the label itself seems quite old fashioned and uninteresting. When I searched terms like, “Remodernism” and ran across the the term “Stuckism.” I can hardly imagine the response of a teenage boy if I referred to a group of artists as “The Stuckists…”

This got me wondering what society expects from artists today?  Do artists have anything to push past and explore anymore that could possibly be labeled as a “movement”?

This sound byte thing was not doing Art History any justice but at least we where having a conversation.

 

Continue Reading

Some days I long to be an Ex Pat

25875514106_dca3388377_o

…and that is not an ex-Patriot Fan for you New Englanders. I like the idea of living in a romantic foreign city. While I was a flight attendant I did spend enough time wandering (and often getting lost) in large cities to create this scenario in my heads more times than I am willing to admit. A coffee shop where they recognize you, a bookstore that you treat like a lending library, a tiny kitchen that forces you to get take out almost every night.

I recall getting lost in a section of Paris, my colleague and I found ourselves jet lagged and hungry in a section of town with a lot of ugly buildings and no cafes. She turned to me and mimicked my thoughts exactly when she said,  “It is just another big city and after awhile, they do all start to look alike.”

25213938406_9f16f9b53b_o

When I hang out on two  of my favorite blogs, that jaded moment fades into the background. “Un café à la crème, s’il vous plaît!”

Carin Olsson, photographer and editor of  Paris in Four Months  is a favorite follow of mine.

Katie Armour Taylor, former editor of Match Book Magazine and author of the blog the NeoTradationalist  has some thoughts on living in Copenhagen, Denmark.

copenhagen-katie-armour-taylor-instagram-denmark-768x768

Images: Carin Olsson and Katie Armour

Continue Reading
1 2 3 6